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Staff Picks: 10 Wine Bars to Wet Your Whistle

Whether you’re a true connoisseur or simply enjoy the occasional tipple, these wine bars are sure to satisfy any palate.

Ciao Wine Bar's old fashioned-chic wine cellar

Carens Wine and Cheese Bar
This Yorkville boîte is a summertime hot spot due to its intimate back patio, but the bistro is popular regardless of the weather. The dining menu features sophisticated comfort fare, while wines and cheeses are perfectly paired. 158 Cumberland St. 416-962-5158

Ciao Wine Bar
Local bigwigs are drawn to Ciao’s three-level lot on Yorkville Avenue. Oenophiles seek shelter in the rustic-chic cellar, complete with exposed brick, vaulted ceiling and vintage wine racks. The list features Italian reds and whites prominently, but there are also selections form Canada, the United States, Spain and elsewhere. 133 Yorkville Ave., 416-925-2143.

Crush Wine Bar
A staple of the trendy King West neighbourhood, Crush combines casual fine dining with a diverse selection of vintages. Can’t choose from sommelier Mark Moffatt’s huge international wine list? Try one of the curated—and very affordable—flights of three two-ounce glasses. 455 King St. W., 416-977-1234.

Enoteca Sociale
This family-friendly restaurant on the up-and-coming Dundas West strip houses a cheese cave and a wine cellar, both of which highlight varieties from Italy and Canada. House-made pastas and other seasonally inspired dishes are brought to life with suggested wine pairings. 1288 Dundas St. W., 416-534-1200.

Local Kitchen & Wine Bar
In Parkdale, this neighbourhood haunt draws foodies from across the city with its Italian-style piattini (small plates) and endearing wine list. Along with using locally grown foods, the restaurant also features a range of Ontario wines. 1710 Queen St. W., 416-534-6700.

Reds Bistro & Wine Bar
This upscale Financial District establishment features a bistro-style dining area—where many a business lunch has been enjoyed—and a separate street-level wine bar. Wine program director Robin Kemp manages a list of more than 350 labels, 70 of which are available by the glass. A variety of cheeses and an à la carte menu of cuisine inspired by the world’s wine-making regions ensure you’ll find a perfect match for your drink. 77 Adelaide St. W., 416-862-7337.

It’s on Ossington Avenue, so by almost by default caters to a hip and eclectic crowd of diners and imbibers. Spanish and Portuguese vintages are featured, and, for pairing, the restaurant also offers a tapas-style menu of hot and chilled plates. 225 Ossington Ave., 416-533-7258.

About two-dozen vintages are served in three sizes—“jars,” “jugs,” and by the bottle—at Leslieville’s Swirl, a real “best-kept secret” for area wine lovers. The small, second-floor space exudes homey charm, and offers a complementary snacking menu of cheeses, preserves and pâtés to accompany its drink selection. 946 Queen St. E., 647-351-5453.

Located in the Distillery Historic District, Tappo offers a variety of wines from all over the world. The wine bar features a full Italian- and Mediterranean-inspired menu, live music and more. 55 Mill St., 647-430-1111.

The Wine Bar
Perfecting the art of serving tapas style dishes, each item on the menu comes with a suggested wine pairing at this Old Town establishment. Patrons are also able to bring their own bottle of wine to suit their tastes. 9 Church St., 416-504-9463.

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